First, an apology (again): It had been my goal to post regularly. I started my blog with three posts a week, and then had to go down to two, and even this I found I was not able to manage on top of my other life commitments. I have tried a couple of features (Top Ten Tuesdays and Fairy-Tale Tuesdays) but I haven’t been able to be as regular with either as I had hoped. I have high hopes for 2014, and want to continue my blog, but I am sadly committing myself to at least one post per week, with bonus extra posts when I have extra time. I’m still reading, and I actually have a large back-log of books I read over the Christmas holidays, so I’ll cycle through them (two per week) until I run out, and then it will be down to one + whatever I have time for. Thanks for bearing with me!!!
On to the book:
Another book by Marissa Doyle, Courtship & Curses is historical fiction that weaves an English season in 1815 with magic. Sophie is staring her first season two years after being stricken by an illness that left her crippled and took the lives of her mother and younger sister. She dreads society, now that she walks with a limp and is forced to use a cane when she’s tired or has far to walk. Sophie is also a witch – though her magic has been intermittent and limited since her illness.
Despite her worries, Sophie almost immediately meets a new best friend, Parthenope, an animated and vivacious girl. She also meets Parthenope’s cousin, Perry (Peregrine) who is not only handsome but is someone Sophie finds slightly infuriating.
Soon after her arrival in London, Sophie realizes that a series of “accidents” (that nearly kill several important members of the War Office) have a whiff of magic about it. As Sophie’s papa works at the War Office, she is particularly concerned.
So, you’ve got a love story mixed in with a bit of a mystery (who is arranging these “accidents”??). Much of the book focuses on Sophie coming to terms with her disability and realizing that perhaps life can go on quite happily despite that.
I definitely found it VERY frustrating that it was pretty clear to me very early on who the culprit was, and I sort of felt like Sophie was a bit dense not to see it earlier. I also generally liked Sophie but some of her misgivings (particularly about Perry) I didn’t find very convincing. Despite it being pretty predictable (I mean once you’ve figured out the bad guy it’s just waiting around for them to figure it out too), I did enjoy this book. On the love story side, it was also no great mystery what was what. I am that weird person who enjoys knowing what’s coming, and I think I would enjoy this one even more on a second read. I’m thinking 4 / 5.